Two major sticking points heading into final negotiations were the increased Medicaid payments to states and nearly $20 billion in school construction funding, both top priorities for House Democrats and the White House. But Collins, in particular, opposed creating a separate federal program for school construction, and the Senate bill she helped negotiate included no school-construction provision.The compromise, which was less that 50% of the difference between the House and Senate appropriations, restricts stimulus spending on schools to renovation, not new construction. Again, I cannot fathom the strictures easily placed on spending for schools in this compromise compared to the blank check that banks and insurance companies get under TARP.
Instead, Senate Republicans agreed to increase a general state fund to $54 billion, a portion of which could be spent rebuilding schools. "We hung tough," Collins said.
Thursday, February 12, 2009
If you claim to embrace the center, like Republican Senator Susan Collins does, isn't it somewhat immodest to take glee in stopping school construction funds? No child can defeat her: